In the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy in October 2012, New York City implemented a program to provide basic repairs to restore heat, hot water, and electricity to victims of the storm, at no cost to the homeowners. In November 2012, Conti of New York, a construction services company, was contracted to provide repairs to residential properties located in Staten Island, with a contract sum not to exceed $70 million. Guidepost was a member of the Integrity Monitoring team appointed by the New York City Department of Investigations to oversee Conti’s work.
Our work included on-site integrity monitoring; process analysis; program, contract, and records compliance; and liaison with City agencies. On a daily basis, we addressed issues of compliance with city, state, and federal laws and regulations with homeowners, the contractor, the construction manager, City officials, and the Department of Investigation personnel. On a daily basis, Guidepost:
- Provided on-site observation of construction activities and gathering of field intelligence and data, including headcounts, identifying subcontractors and workers, tracking installations and identifying issues relating to integrity, scope, quality and safety. We discussed project issues daily with the contractor, the construction manager, City officials and DOI personnel. In addition, we reviewed documents being generated such as field tickets, foreman and construction manager daily field reports, pay quantity tracking sheets, work orders and sign-in sheets.
- Monitored the number of hours worked and the rates being paid to workers. Our field teams routinely gathered data regarding the personnel on site, their pay rates and the number of hours being worked at each site. Using this information, as well as sign-in sheets, we worked with the forensic accounting team to ensure labor law compliance.
- Analyzed field data collected by our investigators, comparing it to data contained in documentation provided by the contractor, its subcontractors and the construction manager, to identify discrepancies with regard to installations claimed and authorizations for them.
- Collected and investigated complaints made by residents regarding allegations of theft, impersonation by those outside the program and other suspicious activities. We also collected and addressed similar reports made by the contractor, subcontractors, the City’s Program Manager and others involved with the project. The results of these investigations were reported to DOI.
Benefit to the Client
Our work helped to ensure the reliability and accuracy of applications for payment made by firms engaged to perform work under the Rapid Repair Program and helped to prevent the program from being beset by fraud, waste and abuse through the acts of unscrupulous participants.